Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone


Thomas McKenzie's Blog.


David Paul DeRubbio

Today I am 39 years old.  A year from now, I change decades.  But, for now, I'm still in the under 40 set.

It is my custom on my birthday to consider those of greater fame whom I have now officially outlived. I don't do this as joke, but rather to honor some people who made great contributions at a younger age.  I also do it to remind myself that I don't have all the time in the world, that my death draws ever nearer. 

This is especially difficult for me today because my high school friend Scott Raymond is in hospice as I write this, not long for this world.  Scott was a kind, funny, energetic, handsome and talented young man.  We were in band, choir, and theater together.  He far excelled me in all of those endeavors.  While I suffered from social awkwardness, and was not always the easiest person to get along with, Scott was always a warm and accepting soul.

His mother had been my 2nd grade teacher.  In our public school, she used to lead us in the Lord's Prayer each day before we went to the lunchroom.  Standing with my class, saying that prayer, is one of my favorite memories of childhood.  We were so good, and yet so bad.

On to my list.  As of today, I have officially outlived the following people who died at the age of 38:

  • Flo Jo (Florence Griffith Joyner)
  • George Gershwin 
  • John John (John F. Kennedy, Jr.)
  • Roberto Clemente
  • Sam Kinison
  • Corey Haim
  • Paul Gray (of Slipknot)
  • Philippe Cousteau
  • Joan Shorenstein (of the Washington Post)
  • Tamara Lazakovich (Soviet gymnast)
  • Maria Bronte (the eldest Bronte sister)
  • David Paul DeRubbio of the NYFD , and 131 other 38 year-olds, who were murdered by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001.

"Blessed is he who keeps his death ever before his eyes."  --Thomas a Kempis

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